An NYPD officer died after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot to the head outside a Staten Island stationhouse on Friday.
The incident took place on Wilcox Street in the Graniteville section of the island.
Just before 4 p.m., sources told News 4 the officer was inside his car when the incident occurred right outside the 121st Precinct. Police said the officer was a 29-year-old man who had served the department for six years.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill called the recent string of officers taking their own lives "a mental health crisis."
"Before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we first help ourselves," the statement read. "There is no shame in seeking assistance from the many resources available, both inside and outside the department.
"We must take care of each other. We must address this issue — now — because it will not go away on its own. We must speak out. And we must end this crisis, together."
Mayor Bill de Blasio also sent out his thoughts on Twitter, saying this is "another officer gone too soon."
"Three brave members of our police force have taken their lives in recent days. All of them led lives that made their communities better. All of their lives had meaning," the tweets from de Blasio read. "I want every member of the NYPD to know your city is here for you. You are not alone. Help is here. Reach out."
This latest tragedy marks the third suspected suicide in the last nine days for the NYPD. Just last week, two senior, well-respected cops — a deputy chief and a senior detective — took their own lives. Deputy Chief Steven Silks was found dead in a police vehicle in Queens on June 5. Detective Joseph Calabrese was found the next day at a beach in Sheepshead Bay.
The recent events prompted O'Neill to remind police personnel that help is available — and seeking it isn't a sign of weakness but of "great strength."
The NYPD officers' suicides come amid a rising nationwide trend: More than 47,000 U.S. suicides were reported in 2017, or 14 per 100,000 — the highest rate in at least half a century.
Among police, at least 159 officers died by suicide in 2018, according to Blue H.E.L.P., a Massachusetts-based organization devoted to preventing police suicides.
More recent coverage:
- NYC's Top Cop Speaks on Mental Health After NYPD Suicides
- Missing NYPD Homicide Detective Found Dead by Suicide
- NYPD Deputy Chief With 38 Years of Service Takes His Own Life
If you or someone you know is in a crisis, including at risk of suicide or self-harm, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Trained counselors are available 24/7.